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After weeks aboard a battleship, as little more than a captive and a pirate captain’s entertainment, Rain is back where she should be living, with a man she should be loving, in a life that should be freeing. So why doesn’t it feel that way? Everything once right, now feels so wrong.How can a woman who has been through so much crave the source of her hurt? Is it psychological damage? Or did the sea seduce her as intensely as the captain that sailed it?
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I constantly feel like I’m being followed but Niall says it’s in my head. I suppose it must be. Since every time I turn around there’s nothing and nobody suspicious there. Besides, my paranoia is unwarranted, I’m always with somebody so I’m always safe.
The captain is in prison, one far away from me, all the way on the other side of the UK. If he was any further he’d be in the ocean again, except in a cell, not on a ship. As promised the law nailed him with multiple charges, but from what I’ve heard, nothing they have evidence on. He’s being made to serve until his trial and I’m being pushed to press charges and give my statement.
It’s hard to talk about. Too hard. I’ve been avoiding it. Not only speaking about it but writing it down, dreaming about it. The more time that passes the more I forget, and that suits me just fine because whenever I think of my tumble into the ocean, or the fact I was nearly raped, I start trembling like a rattlesnake on the defence.
It hasn’t been long, only two weeks since I got home after that ordeal, and for the most part I’ve pushed it from my mind. I’ve been pretending things are normal but they aren’t. How can they be?
Niall is being attentive, he’s being great, all six foot of him is being nothing but soft and loving and understanding. But how understanding will he be when he knows the depth of my guilt?
I wasn’t just kidnapped and assaulted. I was lost. A part of me got lost in those deep, leaf-green eyes on that blue fucking ocean.
“Babe,” Niall calls from the kitchen, startling me from my thoughts. “It’s your brother.”
I race to the phone as I always do when my brother uses his few minutes of phone time on me. Skidding to a stop on the cold white and black tiles, I take the cordless from Niall’s large, soft hand and lean into him as I put it to my ear.
He tickles my back and kisses my temple but remains silent.
“River,” I breathe, smiling genuinely for the first time since the last time we spoke. “It has been forever.”
“Three days, Rain, fucking drama queen.” There’s humour to the gruffness of his tone and so much love. My brother is my rock, my idol. He’s everything to me and so much more. If it wasn’t for him I’d be serving time in a women’s prison somewhere. “That cop boyfriend of yours looking after you?”
I relax against said cop boyfriend. “He is.”
“Good.” He chuckles. “Found me any pen pal bitches to write to?”
“I’ve been stuck in the middle of the ocean; your bitches haven’t been a priority.”
“Fucking pirate is lucky he didn’t end up in my prison.”
I hum my agreement all the while wishing Niall didn’t tell him about what happened to me, but it was inevitable. Word got around, and if my brother found out before Niall told him… I dread to think. I’m confident that he made the right choice.
His deep voice pierces my thoughts, popping them and sending them away like a balloon from a needle point. “You spoke about it yet? It helps to talk.”
“There’s nothing to say.”
“Niall said you’re suffering, you won’t let him in.”
I roll my eyes. “Suddenly you’re the expert on suffering?”
“No, but I’d say your cop boyfriend is.”
Niall tenses, having heard basically everything. I look at him to shoot a glare his way but lose my gumption and sigh instead, sagging further into his body. “Let’s just change the subject.”
“Say the word, sis, and I’ll have him gutted for you.”
I laugh nervously. “I have no doubts that you will but… leave him alone, let him rot, focus on getting out sooner. I miss you. I need you on the outside, not on the inside for another ten years.”
“Unless you have a time machine, I’m not going anywhere.”
“You can’t undo what we did.”
“No, but I can run away faster.”
We both laugh but it’s uneasy.
“I’ll call you later,” he whispers, sounding more emotional now. “I miss you too, Rain.”
The line goes dead with a clatter and I turn in Niall’s arms. He kisses my neck and rocks me, the bristle of his cheek against my temple.
“Are you ready to talk?” His question is so gentle, like coaxing an angry bear to eat a scrap of food when he knows it’s not hungry. “You need to make a statement.”
“I’ve told them how he orchestrated my kidnapping,” I reply, putting distance between us, using the orange juice in the fridge as an excuse.
His almond-shaped grey eyes narrow. “You haven’t told them about the horrors you endured on the ship.”
I look at him, wondering how I break his heart and admit that I’m a whore that has slept with the enemy.